"I hope I shall have ambition until the day I die," Clare Boothe Luce told her biographer Sylvia Jukes Morris. Price of Fame, the concluding volume of the life of an exceptionally brilliant polymath, chronicles Luce's progress from her arrival on Capitol Hill through her career as a diplomat, prolific journalist, and magnetic public speaker, as well as a playwright, screenwriter, pioneer scuba diver, early experimenter in psychedelic drugs, and grande dame of the GOP in the Reagan era.
Tempestuously married to Henry Luce, the powerful publisher of Time Inc., she endured his infidelities while pursuing her own, and remained a practiced vamp well into her crowded later years, during which she strengthened her friendships with Winston Churchill, Somerset Maugham, John F. Kennedy, Evelyn Waugh, Lyndon Johnson, Salvador Dal, Richard Nixon, William F. Buckley, Ronald Reagan, and countless other celebrities. Sylvia Jukes Morris is the only writer to have had complete access to Mrs. Luce's prodigious collection of public and private papers. In addition, she had unique access to her subject, whose death at 84 ended a life that for variety of accomplishment qualifies Clare Boothe Luce for the title of "Woman of the Century".
©2014 Sylvia Jukes Morris (P)2015 Audible Inc.
This book was a delight. The subject, the writing and the narration were exceptional. We listened to both volumes and would highly recommend this audiobook.
Faced with mindless duty, when an audio book player slips into a rear pocket and mini buds pop into ears, old is made new again.
Clare Boothe Luce’s strengths and weaknesses shine brightly in Slyvia Jukes Morris’s “Price of Fame”. Luck, beauty, and intelligence carry Ms. Luce from penury to plenty. Born out of wedlock to a musician/salesman and domineering mother, Morris writes of Luce’s extraordinary ability, drive, and ambition.
Morse’s epilogue to “Price of Fame” adds credibility to her writing. Morse spent many years researching Clare Boothe and interviewed Ms. Luce many times before her death. Morse’s story clearly shows Clare Boothe is an intelligent woman who gains respect of an American public at a time when women are defined by men’s opinions rather than what they do. Clare Boothe acted the life of a liberated woman; equal to all men, and more competent than most.
After listening to Morris’s fine biography, one may not agree with Ms. Luce’s politics. But Morris shows Luce’s wit, presence, and conversation will either change a person’s mind or embarrass their intelligence. Luce comes across as narcissistic but her proven ability, like Muhammed Ali’s fighting skill, warrants excess interest in oneself.
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